The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with the threat of climate disruption and other social and environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal. See this movie at your earliest opportunity– current theater listings below.
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The Last Mountain – [TRAILER] – Copyright © 2010 Uncommon Productions
‘The Last Mountain’
Bill Haney’s documentary looks at West Virginia’s coal country and residents’ efforts to save an Appalachian peak.
By Sheri Linden, Special to the Los Angeles Times
June 15, 2011
“The Last Mountain” is a damning look at Big Coal and its landscape-decimating practices, a litany of disheartening statistics and enraging testimony. But director Bill Haney leavens the lament with a moving portrait of the West Virginia residents who are standing up to the bulldozing — physical and spiritual — to save an Appalachian peak from the fate of its neighbors.
Whether the view is aerial or up close and personal, the documentary presents wrenching evidence that mountaintop removal mining is more expedient for the coal companies — key among them the headline-familiar Massey Energy — and disastrous for just about everyone else.
The consequences extend beyond the Coal River Valley communities, which have had to contend with daily explosive blasts, flooding because of depleted topsoil, precariously stored toxic sludge and odds-defying cancer clusters. Appalachia’s contaminated streams affect water supplies for millions in the Eastern United States. And with coal-fueled electricity plants across the country, the events in a West Virginia hollow reverberate nationwide.
Among the non-local heroes of the film is Robert Kennedy Jr., who’s been taking his environmental cause to the White House since his uncle was chief executive. Kennedy argues that the union-busting coal industry, though it waves the flag and the word “jobs,” has impoverished people. He’s optimistic enough to believe that Americans would revolt if they knew the truth about its tactics. That might be true if they weren’t so exhausted by their own daily struggles.
Yet another dispiriting depiction of corporate clout, “The Last Mountain” offers hope, too, in the form of wind-power success stories and the passion of frontline activists.
Coming Soon: Asheville, NC; Madison, WI; Kansas City, MO; Cleveland, OH; Ann Arbor, MI; Sacramento, CA and Santa Rosa, CA. Full details TBA.
|July 8 – July 14||LOUISVILLE||Village Theatre|
|July 8 – July 14||MINNEAPOLIS||Lagoon Cinema|
|July 8 – July 14||ATLANTA||UA Tara Cinemas|
|July 15 – July 21||AUSTIN||Regal Arbor at Great Hills|
|July 15 – July 21||SEATTLE||Landmark Varisty Theatre|
|July 15 – July 21||PORTLAND||Regal Fox Tower|
|July 15 – July 21||DENVER||Mayan Theatre|
|July 15 – July 21||BELLINGHAM||Pickford Film Center|
|July 16||LONG BEACH, CA||The Art Theatre|
|July 16 – July 21||STATE COLLEGE, PA||The State Theatre|
|July 22 – July 28||KNOXVILLE||Regal Downtown West|
|July 22 – July 28||CHARLOTTE||Regal Park Terrace|
|July 22 – July 28||PITTSBURGH||Harris Theater|
|July 22 – July 28||TORONTO||The Royal|
|July 29 – August 4||LEXINGTON||Kentucky Theatre|
|August 29 – August 30||JUNEAU||Gold Town Nickelodeon|
|Sept. 5 – Sept. 6||JUNEAU||Gold Town Nickelodeon|
|Sept. 8 – Sept. 15||NEWARK, DE||Cinema Center 3|
|Sept. 15 – Sept. 18||WILMINGTON, DE||Delaware Art Museum|
|Sept. 22 – Oct. 2||MILWAUKEE||Milwaukee Film Festival|
|September 28||NORFOLK, VA||Naro Cinema|